Highlight: U.S. Temperature and Precipitation Rankings for December 2021 and all of 2021. December warmest on record; 2021 4th warmest year on record.
Fig. 1: U.S. state-by-state temperature rankings given the 127-year climatology for the U.S. in December 2021.
Discussion: The first month of meteorological winter was the warmest December on record (Fig. 1). Ten states from New Mexico to Nebraska and Texas to Alabama observed their warmest December on record. About 60-65% of the U.S. observed MUCH ABOVE to RECORD Warmest during December. Only the West Coast was temperate and Washington/Montana slightly colder than normal. The precipitation rank is 62 given the 127-year climatology for the U.S. implying the U.S. was close to normal precipitation in December 2021 (Fig. 2). As usual, “normal” is the result of the average of extremes. In December 2021, the Interior West and North-central U.S. was MUCH WETTER than normal while top ten dry years were observed in Texas, Louisiana, Kansas and the Mid-Atlantic States to southern New England.
Fig. 2: U.S. state-by-state precipitation rankings given the 127-year climatology for the U.S. in December 2021.
The year 2021 was the 4th warmest on record for the U.S. (Fig. 3). All 48 contiguous states were warmer than normal for 2021 with about 70% of the nation in the MUCH ABOVE category. The warmest ranked states were in the Northeast U.S. where Maine and New Hampshire were the 2nd warmest on record and Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Delaware were 3rd warmest on record. In the West, Idaho and Utah were 3rd warmest on record while California and Colorado were 4th warmest on record.
On average, 2021 brought near normal precipitation to the U.S. (Fig. 4). The East-central U.S. to New England and south to the Southeast region were wettest. Massachusetts ranked MUCH ABOVE normal given the 8th wettest year on record. The Mid-Atlantic States and Maine were drier than normal in 2021. The driest state was Montana ranking 9th driest in the 127-year record. Most of the West averaged slightly drier than normal for the year.
Fig. 3: U.S. state-by-state temperature rankings given the 127-year climatology for the year of 2021.
Fig. 4: U.S. state-by-state precipitation rankings given the 127-year climatology for the year of 2021.